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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tiggly Shapes

Tiggly Shapes by Tiggly are a very cool product that is used with the iPad. Tiggly shapes come with 4 basic shapes: star, triangle, square, and circle. There is three apps currently that these shapes can be used with that I will talk about in a bit. First about the shapes themselves: The shapes are made for toddler hands. They are easy to grip, easy to clean off, and very durable. They are also completely iPad safe. They are made for children ages 18months to 4yrs old but I find them very useful for children who also have special needs as they work on many different skills. They work on Spatial thinking, motor skills, language and creativity. The only issue that I found with the shapes themselves are that if you have a built in screen cover on your iPad case they most likely won't work. I have a gumdrop case on mine and they would not work with it on. I hope in the future they can fix this issue as I know with most younger children and special needs children that a very sturdy case that has a screen protector is usually used on their iPads. I had my youngest try out the shapes at his O.T. as I didn't feel comfortable handing my kids the iPad without the cover on. I did try out the apps at home myself though. The shapes will come in a box that includes the four shapes, a cloth carrying bag for the shapes and an information card. My youngest really seemed to enjoy the shapes. His favorite seems to be making his own picture with the Tiggly Draw app. I would highly highly recommend these shapes and would bump it up higher if the issue with the screen cover is fixed :)

Ok so now onto the apps:

Tiggly Safari: Your children can go on a Safari with their shapes in hand by finding animals that are hiding. Your child will place the correct shape on the screen and poof the animal will appear right in front of them on the screen.

- See and match four basic shapes in different orientations to help develop your child’s spatial thinking
- Hear and see the names repeated for each animal, helping children learn to speak and spell new words
- Funny and friendly animal sounds that make children laugh
- Seven exciting levels that adapt to your child’s advancing understanding
- Constructive feedback and guidance to help children overcome challenges
- Three environments: a farm, a jungle, and an ocean
- Can be played with or without Tiggly Shapes
- Kid-friendly interface
- Parents section includes many tips to optimize your child’s learning
- No in-app purchases
- Includes 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese

Tiggly Stamp: Your child can build a scene using the Tiggly shapes and then save the picture to the iPad. Your child can also tell stories and make their scene using the video recorder on the iPad as well.

From iTunes: ACTIVITIES:
Create things
- See four basic shapes transform into 80+ funny animals, fruits, and objects

Listen & Laugh
- Hear the names repeated for each animal, fruit, and object, helping children learn to speak new words
- Funny and friendly animal sounds and greetings that make children laugh
- Includes 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese

Tell a story
- Tell a story using the video recorder option
- Make a movie by dragging things around and telling a story about them

Save a memory
- Take a picture of your work with a date to save memories

- Can be played with or without Tiggly Shapes
- Kid-friendly interface
- Parents section includes many tips to optimize your child’s learning
- No in-app purchases

Tiggly Draw: Your child can become their own artist with this app using their shapes. You can make faces, scenes, and a lot of other fun things and then save the scene with the camera option. You can also email, share, ect your child's creativity with your friends and relatives.

From iTunes: ACTIVITIES:
Create a drawing
- Use your Shapes to create drawings on a beautifully rendered digital canvas
- Choose from 10 backgrounds
- 50+ features (including unpredictable eyes, mouths, hats and more) allow children to design anything they can imagine

Compose a piece of music
- The square is your piano, the circle a tuba, the star a marimba, and the triangle is a violin. A symphony awaits!
- Create more than 1,000 simple compositions while playing with your shapes

Save a memory
- Take a picture of your artwork with a date to save memories

Other features include:
- Kid-friendly interface
- Parents section includes online and offline tips to optimize your child’s learning
- No in-app purchases and ads

Each of these apps can be found in the iTunes store for free. You can unlock the full features with your shapes or try out a trial without the shapes as well. The shapes are available for purchase via their website and a few select places (check website for stores near you) for $29.99


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zorbit’s Math Adventure Preschool- Learning. Reimagined.

Zorbit’s Math Adventure Preschool- Learning. Reimagined. by Best Boy Entertainment is a bright colorful interactive way of learning preschool math. There is six adventures within the app for your preschooler to play and learn with. Each adventure is filled with learning and interactive fun throughout. No reading is needed within the app which makes this app great for preschoolers and special needs. There is stickers your child can earn to create a very cool scene at the end of each adventure which helps your child strive to go on with the app. There is no access to social media or internet within the app or in-app purchases. There is many things to learn such at numbers 1-20, short/tall, colors, ect. The app is done in 3-D style so it is very bright and colorful and really holds your child's attention all through the app. I used this app with my youngest and he really seemed to enjoy playing with it. Not much holds his attention but he really liked the characters along with all the interactive parts so he stayed fairly interested in it. My middle son even wanted to play after he seen everything in it. Your child will hardly notice that they are learning while playing with all the fun things to do. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Free version also available:

(((Please remember my reviews are not based on price.)))



Monday, May 27, 2013

Tub Stick-Ups- Letter Catch

Tub Stick-Ups- Letter Catch by Discovery Toys is a fun fishing game for young children. This toy is meant for the bathtub but has many additional uses as well. The letters come in an alphabet board that we use for practicing writing letters. We also use the board for fine motor skills with sticking the letters back in the board. The fishing game itself comes with four fishing poles, the letters (upper and lower case) for a total of 96 letters, and 8 bait disks (4 small and 4 big). The bait disks can be changed out as needed to either big or small by just pulling out the foam string that comes with for the fishing poles. If one of the foam strings breaks you can either have a shorter fishing string or it does come with extras as well. They are easy to place in the disks by just pushing them in with your thumb a little at a time. My kids just love this fishing game. The foam letters stick easily to the bait disks or even the walls of the bathtub and walls themselves. We have played many different games with them while in the tub. I've even used the extra fishing baits as little pucks by flicking them off the tub at the wall for extra fine motor activities. The letters can be used many different ways themselves as they wash off easily too. You can use them for painting activities, tracing, fishing, spelling activities, ect. I would highly highly highly recommend this item and make sure to get them from Shantas Discovery Toys Page who is a very friendly and caring person. :)


 from the website
from my own bathtub :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

iLS Pillow Insert

iLS Pillow Insert by Intergrated Listening Systems (iLS) has been wonderful for my home. We have been using it now for a while and it is defiantly helping out with sleep in my home. My children have been alternating with the pillow each night and I can say for sure whoever has the pillow that night gets a wonderful nights sleep and wake up more regulated then without the pillow. My son who was in the last review about the iLS system has since ended O.T. for now but is continuing with the pillow and it has been helping some during the day as well. When he needs a break and seems out of sorts I now have him lay on the pillow to try to get him back on track. My other son is now in O.T. and using the Total Focus program there once a week like my other son was along with the pillow insert on his days and I believe it is starting to work on him as well. He's a little tougher of a case sensory wise so it's taking a bit longer lol. He loves the pillow but isn't a big fan of the headphones yet ;). The pillow insert is easy to use. You place it inside a pillow case with your child's regular pillow or alone depending on how they like it. The music player (Sony mp3) is placed in a zipper pocket on the side. There is prerecorded music on there with different selections and will play for a set amount of time before turning itself off. There is bone conduction inside the pillow insert which makes this insert unique to any other music pillow device I have seen on the market. The insert can help children with Autism, SPD, ADHD, ect that need help with sleep issues, regulating their bodies, and more. The insert is what I would suggest to start with if your child is having a hard time with headphones. The insert helps them get used to the bone conduction first and calm them before introducing the headphones on them. The more we use the pillow at home the more my youngest gets adjusted to using the headphones at therapy from what I can tell. I like the pillow insert better then the pillow (which I had the opportunity to try from my O.T.) since they are able to use their own pillow underneath the insert.
Here's the music programs included straight from their website:
Music Programs: iLs Pillow music is selected based on harmonic content, gentle rhythmic structure and soothing melodic contours, and modified via proprietary techniques developed by iLs. All programs stop automatically after 2 hours.
  • Classical: relaxing, andante (slow tempo) classical pieces popular with all ages
  • Classical Mix: andante classical pieces interwoven with female Gregorian Chant; ideal as preparation for an iLs clinical program (as the music is similar), or for relaxing and drifting off to sleep
  • Relaxation 1: calming ambient music; less engaging than classical music; popular with all ages
  • Relaxation 2: harmonic overtones which bring about a calming response, ideal for reducing stress and combining with relaxation techniques
  • Relaxation 3: beautiful female and male Gregorian Chant recordings; excellent for stress reduction, sleep or just quiet listening 
iLs also offers a 30 trial period so you can make sure this system will work for your home. For more info go to their website. (link posted below)


 High scores on both graphs indicate difficulty, low scores indicate improved sleep and behavior.
 Clinical Testing: All participants showed a decrease in sleep problems (Graph A) and improvement with daytime behaviors (Graph B: physical, emotional, social and school functioning).
(to learn more about this clinical testing please see iLs website)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Video Schedule

My Video Schedule by Acceptional Possibilities, LLC. is a wonderful scheduler for children and adults with special needs especially Autism. This app is absolutely amazing with over 100 different videos included and many many different pictures to choose from. The videos include anything from opening a milk carton to shaving even. You can add pictures and videos of your own if they are not included in the app. The videos have step by step instruction and also include audio. I believe these videos help the user become much more independent especially older users that may want to try to figure things out on their own but need a little help with learning how to do some of the things. You can set up a schedule in this app of the days events so it shows the user what is to be done at that time of the day along with a choice board for a reward system. This app is defiantly unique as I've seen others try to compare and they just haven't matched up to this one. They either have just the videos and are defiantly not as extensive or just the schedule/rewards. This app defiantly grows with the user from toddler to adult. The app is user friendly and so simple to use that you can have it ready for the user in no time at all. The separation of user and admin mode is wonderful so that the user can not go in and change things around which usually happens for me here at least without this option. If you want a scheduler, learning, reward system that will grow with your child into adulthood or need an a scheduler for an older child/adult I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Adjective Remix

Adjective Remix by Smarty Ears is a wonderful app for building on adjectives. This app can be used with one or more children at a time. There is 8 major categories included and they are: Appearance, colors, feelings, quantity, shape, size, time, and touch&taste. There is almost 200 targets and 400 images included in this app. The settings in the app allow you to choose what you want the user to work on, the response given if the answer is wrong, and the presentation of the items. You can also turn text on or off in the settings as well. The users photo is shown in the app which I really like not only when doing multi-player but also when working one on one as it seems to make them feel really in the app. I love the responses given when the user gets it correct. Every time it's like a party for them telling them they got it right. I would like to see auto advance to the next question added in instead of having to push the arrow. I have always liked that feature since otherwise my kids stare at the app thinking it's broken lol. There is little report cards that show the results of the players in the app that can be shared as needed. This app is also now compatible with Therapy Report Center! This app has been helping my children come along very nicely on their adjectives. By using apps I seem to get them more engaged and willing to work then with just plain pieces of paper. I would highly highly highly recommend this app and all other smarty ears apps :)


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Syntax Workout

Syntax Workout by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is a wonderful app to work on English grammar skills. This app includes 1500 stimuli. Some of the activities included are do vs. does, is vs. are, pronouns, and more. These types of activities are what my children are currently really working hard at in speech. My boys especially have a very hard time with pronouns so working on these skills continuously is very helpful to them. Almost every day they come home with sheets of homework to work on certain skills and with this app I can add to those skills easily by selecting what they are working on. This app includes a bowling game after a certain amount of correct answers. You can opt to have the bowling game on/off and how many correct answers before being able to play. There is a recording option also that you can have your child record themselves saying the answers and then listen back. This app is one I really like to have the instructions on so they can see the sentence above and then make their choice. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

* currently there is a small glitch with this app where you can not select all. This will hopefully be fixed very soon :)


Friday, March 29, 2013

Describe With Art

Describe With Art by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is a wonderful app for ages preschool to elementary grades that helps with describing and following directions. This app work with these skills with both receptive and expressive tasks. When you get to the activities screen you can choose between describe it and follow directions. Each of these activities include different categories or sets. You can select all or choose which you would like the user to work on. The painter greats you when you start using the app. There is a record button to have the user record and listen back to their answers. There is an awesome painting activity included for the user to do after they receive so many correct answers. You can choose to have this activity on/off and how many questions correct before it comes on. Before the activity will come up it will ask if you would like to do this now and you can choose go to activity or not right now. This app is really helpful with my children as they have a lot of difficulties describing and following directions. The pictures are realistic and the voice is done very well and easily understood. My children really have enjoyed the incentive this app offers with the painting. I try to use that to my advantage as well by having them draw some type of object that I describe. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Phonological Processes

Phonological Processes by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is a wonderful app for ages 4 and up who have phonological disorders or delays. This app has four main areas: auditory bombardment with minimal pairs, auditory discrimination with minimal pairs, minimal pair productions, and single word production. Each of these areas include their own set of areas addressed in this app. The settings are great for turning on and off instructions, paging and audio as needed. I like to keep the instructions off so they can't look at the words on the screen instead of hearing them to see which is which lol. This app has two different ways of learning. One is flashcards where a flashcard is shown with one or two pictures to either say or choose from. The other is a fun African animal themed board game that my children love. They sat and played the board game for almost an hour when I tried it with them. They loved landing on the animals to see what they would do :). This app brings fun and learning together very nicely. This is a wonderful app for this age range as most are just learning board games and this one is cute, fun, and educational. I would highly highly highly recommend this app. :)


Monday, March 25, 2013

Auditory Processing Studio

Auditory Processing Studio by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is a wonderful app for ages 7+ to work on auditory processing. Now this app is a very unique app for me to review as I am working with it not only with my children but myself as well. Many of you may know that I myself have ADHD and this is just one of the many things it effects with myself. I really like the set up of this app and the ease of use. The settings are done well with choices of what to keep on and what to keep off. You can lower or raise the amount of background noise based on level. You can even turn off the background noise if you would like. There is over 2450 stimuli in this app. The activities included are: Auditory Discrimination, Auditory Closure, Phonological Awareness, and Figure-Ground. Each of these activities have a many different levels included and can be played around with to fit the user. It's always best to start at one of the easier levels and then work up so not to frustrate the user especially when working with a child. I know from myself that if I just keep getting the answers wrong over and over again I may give up and that is what we don't want to happen. On the settings screen I find it best to make sure to turn off instructions so not to give the answer to the user. The instructions will contain the words that are being said and turning them off means the user can not see them so you know it is only based off what they are hearing. On the activities select screen you can choose what activities along with levels you want the user to use. The screen is kid friendly but not so much that it doesn't appeal to older users as well. They have a recording option as well like the rest of the Virtual Speech Center Inc. apps. The only option that I would like to see added in the future is different background noises. Right now they only have static as a background and it can really get annoying lol. It makes a wonderful distraction but can drive you crazy listening to it over and over again lol :). I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is an app that works on reasoning and critical thinking skills for ages 12 and up. There is over 1000 stimuli included in this app. There is many different activities included in the app such as: answering why questions, pros and cons, what will happen next, and many many more. There is a puzzle game also included in the app that promotes thinking skills. Like their other apps you get to choose what things you want the user to work on. You can select as many as you want or select all of them. There is four categories with choices and sixteen categories without choices included. Although this app is meant for older children/adults I find this app useful for younger users as well. If you use with younger users you may have to monitor closely to see if they are able to figure out the question given but with a lot of them younger users would still be able to figure it out especially working in a group and working together. The pictures in this app are geared more toward ages 12 and up but are not inappropriate for younger users either. I have my children sit together in a circle and talk together trying to come up with the best answer. If none of them are able to get it I will give hints or explain the answer to them. I love the real pictures used in the app and the voice is very clear. Everything is read aloud to the user so no reading is needed by the user. You can record the user by using the record/play button on the side as well and the score is automatically counted for you as well. When finished a report for that session is provided with the clients name and their score. You can then email the report as needed as well. The reports are stored by goal, date, and user for you on your main screen too. On the main settings page you can choose for: user alternate count, audio, auto paging, random paging, show instructions, enable reward, and award counter as well. With the reward settings enabled the puzzle game will come up after the set amount of correct answers are done. You can choose to do the puzzle game then or keep going. You are able to shut this off in the settings if you do not want the puzzle game to come up at all. I love the rewards Virtual Speech Center Inc. apps have as they keep the user motivated to continue on to that next game :) I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Word Retrieval

Word Retrieval by Virtual Speech Center Inc. is a wonderful app for children and adults that have difficulties with word retrieval. There is 7 different category types in this app: name this picture, sentence completion, opposite meanings, convergent naming, divergent naming, associations, and definitions. There is two different activities for the different categories: flashcards and word- challenge game. The flashcards are simply that. A picture is showing and a question is asked for the user to answer. The word challenge game is set up similar to Jeopardy with the many different categories and point amounts. There is many different settings in this app for you to choose for the user. You can decide which of the categories you want the user to work on and which sets of cards you want the user to use. You can select as many as you want or select them all. So far I have been using this app on my 7yr old since he has the most difficulty with these types of activities. He is doing fairly well with the app and he really seems to enjoy the game part of it. I love that there is very little distraction in the app. The scoring system is very easy to use and the results are shown at the end for you to email or keep track of for later. I would defiantly highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Emotions, Feelings and Colors! Educational games for kids in Preschool and Kindergarten

Emotions, Feelings and Colors! Educational games for kids in Preschool and Kindergarten by Tribal Nova is a wonderful learning game for arts and social development for children ages 3 to 6yrs old. This game is not only educational but fun. The emotions/feelings part is done in videos to engage your child even more. With each video your child must choose the correct emotion/feeling for the scene shown. There is three levels of difficulty to choose from. Each level is a little bit harder with more things to do with the video. The colors part of the app has your child copy the picture that is provided for them in the corner of the screen. There is also three levels to this part with increasing difficulty with each level. They have your child even mix colors and lighten them to find the correct color for the picture. Your child will learn problem solving, listening/comprehension, visual and kinesthetic learning, and critical thinking skills as well with this app. My children all loved this app as they have loved all the Tribal Nova apps. All the fun characters from the other Poko series are there such as Bibi and Minus. My children all work with this app since they all have problems with emotions and feelings due to special needs. The coloring part is also helpful with just learning problem solving skills, visual and thinking skills. I find this app to be very helpful in the special needs community as it mixes fun with learning in an easy to use way that children love. The video format for the feelings/emotions is defiantly helpful in getting children to use the app and enjoy it. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)